6 Weeks Of Bouldering In Alcañiz, Spain: Part 2

I'm writing this as me and T are finally driving away from Alcañiz. In the end we spent two whole months bouldering in Alcañiz and I have to say, leaving those magnificent sandstone blocks behind makes me feel blue.
The peaceful hills crusted with an endless amount of brushed and unbrushed boulders, stable weather and the small, but lively town definitely gets a grip of you.

As promised in my previous post about bouldering in Alcañiz, I'll now share some practical tips to make your climbing holiday even more enjoyable. In this post I'm going to concentrate on what you should pack in your backpack, camping in Alcañiz as well as where to get food, water and a decent meal after grinding on the smooth Spanish rock.

Crash Pads, Shoes, Chalk... What Do You Need And Where To Get It?

When you're about to go bouldering in Alcañiz, make sure to take plenty of everything from home. There is no real climbing shop in Alcañiz, altough chalk and brushes can be found from local shops.

The most essential gear is a pair or two of your favourite climbing shoes and as many crash pads as you can carry. Boulders in Alcañiz tend to be scattered on a hillside, so the approach can be a scramble and landings poor. While me and T deal with two small pads, I'd say four is comfortable; especially the beautiful yellow roofs are the more enjoyable the more crash pads you have.

Small crash pad next to a huge block.
Often one or two crash pads is not enough in Alcañiz.

About the chalk then. Despite the good friction, chalk seems to disappear fast when you're squeezing on hot slopers. If you don't have any, there's a chance you'll find some at Orinoco Sports in Alcañiz. They have a narrow selection of other climbing gear as well.

If you find yourself in a need of a brush, the China market in Alcañiz will save your day. It has an excellent variety of brushes and telescopic brush handles. Put them together with a piece of duck tape and you're ready to brush even those slippery top holds!

A jar of chalk and a worn brush.
Chalk and brushes are needed in Alcañiz.

In case of emergency, you can try to find a climbing shop in some bigger city near Alcañiz. Barcelona and Valencia both host several of them, but Wala Lleida can be recommended as well. Some Decathlons also sell climbing gear, but they tend to favor their own brand Simond.

All this being said, Spanish climbers usually buy their gear online. That's why despite the popularity of climbing in Spain, you're likely to be disappointed with what the local climbing shops have to offer. Also sport climbing is way more popular than bouldering in Spain, and crash pads for one are impossible to find from local shops. You're definitely not going to get anything cheaper than online!

Camping And Accommodation In Alcañiz

Camping in Alcañiz is possible, but be descreet. While all locals don't tolerate camping (or even climbing) on their land, most of the time we didn't have any problem spending a night or two at the parking lots marked in the guidebook.
El Bulevar is the only place, where the police told us not to park there longer than overnight.

Another option is to take advantage of the camping site in Ancañiz. Spending a night at Camping La Estanca might not be as convenient as parking near the blocks, but the camping site does have decent facilities. After all, a hot shower never hurts after several hours of bouldering!

Camping La Estanca.
In the beginning of April one night at Camping La Ectanca cost 12 Euros with electricity.

Lake La Estanca.
Camping La Estanca is located next to Lake La Estanca.

In addition to a hot shower, La Estanca features a washing machine, dryer as well as a car wash. Me and T washed our RV at Hap Autolavado and clothes at a laundromat next to an RV parking area in Alcañiz, so unfortunately I have no further comments on these facilities at Camping La Estanca.
If you're looking for luxury, there are hotels and rental apartments in Alzañiz as well.
Where ever you choose to stay in Alcañiz, you need a car to access the sectors. San Miguel is the sector closest to Camping La Estanca and there are several sectors less than a 15 minute drive from the center of Alcañiz.

Water And Food

Sometimes you have to go shopping for groceries even on your climbing holiday. Fortunately finding food and water in Alcañiz doesn't mean a lot of driving around.

There are several decent super markets in Alcañiz of which Lidl has the easiest access and biggest parking lot. It's also located right next to a gas station and RV parking area, where you can get water as well as rid of your gray water and waste for free.

If you really aren't in the mood for cooking at home, there are also cozy restaurants and cafeterias in Alcañiz. Our go-to restaurant is Kebab Alcañiz, where you can get a stomach full of Falafel for 6 euros all day and delicious pizza after 6 o'clock. Me and T ate there many times and it never failed to silence our growling tummies.

Churro with chocolate pudding.
Dessert? Churro with chocolate pudding cost 2,2 e at Cafeteria Merinos.

Come to think of it, Alcañiz has quite a many virtues for such an unfamous place. A rare find, considering both climbing and other stuff! Who knows, maybe in ten years bouldering in Alcañiz will become as popular as bouldering in Albarracin or Fontainebleau?

Up next I was hoping to get to compare Alcañiz to Albarracin, but due to a poor weather forecast me and T are now heading north. We'll see what the road brings to us... You can also help us find some great crags in central Europe by telling me your own favorite via the comment box below!


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